I Take Lots of Pictures - Then What?


The natural environment here at the northern tip of Manhattan is extraordinary! Since I treated myself to a camera it comes along on my daily walks and there is almost always something wonderful to see. Changing weather brings changing light and the creatures in our local parks never cease to amaze. At the end of the day there are a lot of pictures to look at.

Back before photography was digital, there were sensible limits on the number of photographs one person could take. Film cost money and developing took time and money. Aspiring photographers had to think and plan carefully for each shot or risk wasting rolls of film. Now there is no real limit to the number of shots. It's worth trying to catch that bird even though it is really far away and doesn't sit still!

When I first started taking pictures with my new camera I tried to weed through them during breaks along my walk. As the weather got colder I want to keep my hands inside my gloves and wait to look until I am sitting at home at my warm computer and sort the pictures. It quickly became clear that I needed some sort of system if I would ever look at them again! So I decided to put all my acceptable pictures of birds into a folder labeled "Bird Pictures." Now that folder has pictures of squirrels and fungi along with the birds and will eventually be renamed. When I move pictures from my camera into this file they are named by the with a number "IMG123." After sorting out the good pictures from that days outing I go into the "Bird Pictures" folder and rename every IMG adding the name of the critter before the IMG. (ex: sparrowswampIMG123) I am happy to be a little better every day at identifying what I have seen! When I LOVE a picture, I also copy it into another file on my desktop named Best Bird Pictures. More about that later.

So I have pictures sorted out, I am learning to identify birds, and hopefully getting better at the art of photography. Do the actual pictures do me any good? Yes! I have found a way to enjoy them! Pictures of scenery, light, or groups of people go into a seasonal folder that are my desktop backgrounds. (In Windows 10, just right click on the home screen and select personalize. I set the background to slideshow and selected the folder named 2020 winter photos for desktop.) The "Best Bird Pictures" I set as a screen saver. It's fun to see my photos!

This holiday season I also decided to share some of my favorite birds by making note cards for my friends and family. These made very satisfying little gifts. I enjoyed sharing my birds!